Note: I am so glad to have the seasons change--I've been sitting like a swan* a bunch of recipes (because, you know, our family likes to eat each day) that were not really seasonal for posting on the blog at the time I made them. I mean, who wants to read about cranberries in March? I'm glad to share them now, and to give you ideas for what to do with your cranberries. And yes, currently I'm cooking stuff that uses the last of the summer produce so I'll be sharing it next summer. I'm starting my own personal NaBloWriMo where I plan to write up blog posts as many days as possible in order to deal with the pile of recipes and head notes that clutter my work space. With breaks for eating muffins, pizza, and beets, of course. Yes, I am nesting. ;)I buy cranberries when they are in season and inexpensive, then I store them in my fruit and veg freezer (not to be confused with the meat freezer) until I'm wanting some fruit for a muffin and open the freezer up, scan the contents, and think 'well, why not cranberry muffins?' That was an entirely run on sentence. I see where my son gets it from. I was thinking about my usual Soaked Oat muffins, but was out of buttermilk--though I did have a bucket of plain Greek yogurt.
A quick check of my muffin bible, Muffins: A Cookbook (Amazon affiliate link) reassured me that it was possible to use yogurt in muffin batter, and in fact their recipe for Cranberry Yogurt muffins is very slightly adapted here. I didn't use the entire bag of cranberries in this recipe, but don't go on a rant about it like I did, instead come on back next time, because I will share the Cranberry Chicken Meatballs with Cranberry Gravy I made using the rest of the cranberries I'd chopped.
Another Note: I made these to serve as an after school snack to a bunch of girls (who came over to
Mini Cranberry Yogurt Oatmeal Muffins (makes about 3 dozen)
(slightly adapted from Muffins: A Cookbook (Amazon affiliate link), I added vanilla and spices and bumped the sugar down a bit)
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used a generous, domed, 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 1/2 ounces (1 cup) unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (I'm using kosher)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking spice or just cinnamon, or a cinnamon/nutmeg blend
1 cup chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen, no need to thaw before chopping. I pulsed mine in the food processor)
white candy melts (I used about half a bag of Wilton brand)
In a large bowl, combine oats and yogurt. Set aside for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour if you can. You could chill the mixture overnight as well.
When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a mini muffin pan with oil, or line with paper liners. Add the oil, sugar, egg and vanilla to the bowl and mix well. Dump the dry ingredients (flour through spice) and stir until just barely combined, then stir in the cranberries until barely mixed. You don't want your muffin batter to be all nicely mixed like a cake batter is what I'm saying. Leave it a bit rough. Bake for 12 minutes, then remove from the oven. Turn off the oven. Place a candy melt on each muffin, and return to oven for 2 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then finish cooling on a rack. Makes about 3 dozen.
*You have no idea the gnashing of teeth I went through to choose the appropriate fowl for this analogy. First I thought of chickens, and though I have little chicken experience I'll generalize that most chickens do not take care of their creations all that well. I thought of geese, but I've seen geese nest on sidewalks and in the middle of hardware store parking lots which shows a lack of judgement that I feel I don't share. I mean, I have a clipboard for all these random bits of paper, and a spreadsheet for published posts. I'm all organized and stuff. I finally settled on swans, because when I walk through the fancy area of town there is a place with Trained Gardening Swans (we've seen them weeding) and their nest is epic. Ideally situated, sumptuous, and constantly attended by Mr or Mrs Swan. I aspire to swandom.